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HINDU HOLLYWOOD                                    108
slough of despond into which they have sunk. Their task will be
a stern one.   The attitude of most of their contemporaries, eveix
when they attempt to face up to the ancient tragedies with which
their country is beset, is one of weary resignation.   For example:
A Hindu Maiden had a Muslim brother ! And in their
Holy Friendship was embodied a Nations sigh f
So runs the advertisement of an important film called 'BhalaV
which is a big box-office success. Need one say more ? It is a
theme that calls for blistering satire, and all it gets is a sigh. It is
all very well to advertise a star like Ramola as 'The It girl of the
Indian Screen/ or to ape the jargon of Hollywood in the publicity
of Winayak's 'My Child3 ('A skyfiil oi''stars! An eyeful of
spectacle !! A soulful of sentiment!!!") Iu spite of this veneer of
modernity, the religious element creeps in almost invariably, and
needless to say, it is coloured by the personal religious prejudices
of the producers—most of whom are Hindus,
As a result there is practically no honest film criticism in India.
With a very few honourable exceptions, the critic's pen is twisted
according to his caste, his creed, or his political convictions.
Let me ha&ten to add that these statements are fully substan-
tiated by Indians themselves-
'Film criticism in India is either a matter of bl&chflail or of
It was one of the chief publicists of Indian films who said that;
I omit his name to spare him embarrassment.
s There is no honest film criticism to ba found in the whole of
India. There is no newspaper or magazine which cannot be
influenced. Nobody attaches any value to film reviews.'
It was a Hungarian, F. Berko, who said that (he did not say it
hi India, of course, but in an American movie magazine).
6The world's low'—ca collection of journalistic sewer-rats'—
*clowns with dirty fingers.' These axe only a few of the epithets
which Indians have coined for their own brothers of the critical